A parenting & lifestyle blog written by Claire Chircop.

WOODLAND WALKS WITH LIGHTHOUSE CLOTHING.

*This post contains gifted items & is in collaboration with Lighthouse Clothing*

Fortunately for my family & I we managed to fit in a woodland walk before Covid-19 took over & sent us all into lockdown, and even more luckily we were all kitted out new raincoats thanks to Lighthouse Clothing.

Family time is so important & I'm so glad we got to spend this day together doing what we love most.


Lighthouse celebrate simple moments, advising us to live a little slower and to treasure everyday adventures... Something I'm very much about!

I love uncomplicated days. Day's spent just the three of us appreciating each others company. Days spent out in the sunshine, listening to the stillness of nature. Days picnicking in the park with way too much food, and one too many flasks.

That's the life I love.

And that's exactly the life Lighthouse wants you to have.


Lighthouse's outdoor apparel has been predominantly designed with style in mind, however they're also big believers that you don't have to substitute style for substance. All three of our raincoats really do have the best of both worlds, and it's because of this that Lighthouse want you to live the moments & not to rush them.

Get outdoors, enjoy the nothingness & clear your mind.

Live simply.
Live happy.


Dan's wearing the Harbour raincoat from Lighthouse, a more casual style of raincoat which appealed more to him over their classic styles. Complete with a hidden hood under the collar, the Harbour raincoat is a great, no fuss, allrounder; It's simple in terms of styling but the fabric is complex as it has breathable & waterproof technologies. The Harbour raincoat also has two zipped pockets to the outer & another zipped pocket to the inner... Perfect for snacks!


I opted for the Lauren raincoat in pink, as I wanted to pay homage to a coat I had a few years ago in a similar colour palette. I loved my old pink walking coat, much to my husbands annoyance; He disliked how bright and in your face it was... And probably the fact that he could always see me no matter where I was.

The Lauren raincoat from Lighthouse is both waterproof & windproof, which is surprising considering how lightweight the material is. I originally thought the coat was going to be a little too thin for my liking, as I'm pretty much always cold, but I was wrong & was snug as a bug wearing this on our woodland walk.
I love the three quarter length - I don't own many (if any) coats which aren't this length to be honest as I find it the most flattering fit & I feel the most comfortable in this style. I like to have my bum covered by my coat, not that I think I've got a bad bum, I've got a great butt, but I feel much more comfortable in something of a longer length.
The Lauren raincoat has four pockets on the outside and a hidden one inside which means it's the perfect coat for stashing things such as snacks for Amelia, her dummies or her gloves; It's handy to have things more readily available than if they were in the rucksack.


Amelia's coat was our favourite by far. Although truth be told she could be wearing a paper bag and we'd still think she's as cute as hell! I chose the Emma raincoat for Amelia in navy which isn't a colour she wears a lot of, but it's a colour that seems to go with pretty much everything.

The quality of the Emma raincoat from Lighthouse is sublime & the first thing I noticed as soon as I opened our parcel. We're usually a little more frugal & like to shop savvy for our little girls outfits so this has really blown us away. She seems so much more grown up as well wearing it, which I know is totally in my own head, but she looks like such a little girl and no longer my little baby anymore. The sizing of the coat is 1-2 years which I think is fab for a coat of this quality and price range. Amelia is currently 15 months (gahh I hate the whole months thing, I really just want to say 1, but feel like I need to be more specific) and she's got plenty of growing room in it, even across her little tummy! Her coat is padded and has a jersey lining meaning it's super comfortable and will be keeping her little bod all toasty and warm, which in turn makes me feel all fuzzy inside.


We're all going to get so much wear out of our Lighthouse raincoats, even if it is just for our one walk a day. Hopefully in the near future when we've beaten Covid-19 we'll get to wear our new beauties for a walk a little longer than just across the back fields.

Are you missing the proper outdoors yet?

Claire.X

LITTLE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE YOUR SH*T TOGETHER, EVEN WHEN YOU DEFINITELY DON'T.

We don't have our sh*t together, not at the best of times, but even more so now in these times of uncertainty.

Covid-19 has well & truly impacted all of our lives, but in times of desperation & times of need I'd like to think there are little things we can do which make us feel like we have our sh*t together... Even though we definitely don't.


1. Make the bed. This is an easy one & once I've been doing for quite some time now, my husband on the other hand not so much, but I love my morning ritual of getting up & making the best straight away.

2. Enjoying your morning coffee outside & allowing your mind to prepare for the day. As soon as I saw Lex's doing this on her instagram stories I kicked myself for not doing it sooner. Each morning since I've started the day outside with my coffee in the fresh air & It's been brilliant for making me feel good about myself, plus it feels like I'm (almost) on holiday.

3. Showering is a given, but actually taking the time to shower properly and use those 5 minutes as self care works wonders for my mental health.

4. Moisturising your body - God knows I need to do this more often, I'm like a snake at the moment, but when I do get my butt in gear & give myself the full works I feel amazing for it.

5. Pop in some amazing statement earrings. Meghan Walsh has an amazing collection & one that I'm incredibly jealous of. Whether you're self isolating or not, a big old pair of gold hoops are sure to make yourself feel better.

6. A red lip. I did wan't to include a full face of makeup, but for me it's the lip that makes it; A classic red lip can go a long, long way!

7. Writing a to do list for the day (no judgements if you include already completed tasks, we all do it). A to do list keeps me motivated for the day, I love ticking things off as it spurs me on & keeps me focussed. I'm not one for sharing my to do lists online, that's added pressure which I don't need in my life, but I'm all for the productivity & making myself feel like I have my sh*t together.

8. Eating nutritious well balanced meals is something I'm pants at, at the moment, I'll be honest and hold my hands up in saying all I seem to be eating at the moment is beige - Pure beige! That being said whenever I do eat a healthy nutritious meal I always feel so much better about myself.

9. Tackle the dreaded inbox. The idea of having a huge amount of unread inbox messages fills me with fear and a clear inbox very much means a clear mind in my opinion. Thankfully I'm generally quite good at keeping on top of my inbox as well as who I'm subscribed to so there's no inbox fear over here.

10. Allowing yourself to take breaks, an actual proper break, not a break where you're checking your phone, an actual real life break. I think we all need to do this a little more.

11. Decluttering your handbags. I did this recently and unearthed a whole host of things. Things I thought we're gone forever, but also things I realised I can actually live without. I got rid of everything I didn't need & even sold a couple of my bags on facebook market place after the declutter, making me feel like a hustler & very much like I had my sh*t together.

12. Use containers to separate & tidy things in your wardrobe/cupboards - Check my organised home Pinterest board for the level of organisation I want in my home. Some cupboards I've nailed however there are still quite few which need attention, if we do eventually go into lockdown this is definitely going to be put on my to do list!

13. An at home workout. Working out isn't necessarily my favourite thing to do, but an easy at home workout is something I can get on board with. I like to have fun when I'm exercising so am instantly drawn to dance workouts or Zumba routines on youtube - Much to my daughter's amusement.

14. Knowing your finances. I hate money, I really do, I wish there was no such thing as it, but money and understanding your finances whatever they may be is incredibly important. Knowing what's coming in & what's going out instantly makes you feel like you have your sh*t together, no matter how blooming boring it is.

15. Trust in your own sauce! Confidence in your own abilities is the key to making you feel like you've got your sh*t together. I'm a big advocate for this especially in motherhood, but in all walks of life too, I think even if you don't necessarily know the right answer, trusting in your own abilities to get through whatever life throws at you is key.

How many of these things have you done?

Claire.X

MAKING MY PERIODS SUSTAINABLE WITH WUKA PERIOD PANTS.

*This post contains gifted items & is in collaboration with Wuka*

Periods... Who'd have them? Actually quite a lot of us... And quite a lot of us are being less than sustainable when it comes to Aunt Flo arriving, myself included; That was until I was introduced to Wuka period pants.


I'm not a tampon wearer. I used to be, but since having my daughter I've swiftly made the transition from tampons to sanitary towels. I don't really know the reason behind it, maybe it was because I didn't have a period for such a long time & I've got a bit of stage fright, but I'm not sure? All I know is that I feel more comfortable using sanitary towels than I do tampons. I think favouring sanitary towels over tampons is seen as a juvenile choice and something that's looked down upon. I don't know if other people feel the same, but I definitely get the impression tampon wearers are seen as the more prestige period partakers, do let me know if you agree. Me however...

I'm a proud tampon dodger.

In terms of sustainability, I've been aware of menstrual cups for quite some time now, however because of my dislike of tampons I didn't feel like they were the right choice for me. If I'm honest, the idea of inserting a menstrual cup gives me the heebie-jeebies; I'm of course a total noob, but I can't help but be put off by the potential mess.

Something I can get on board with to make my periods sustainable is period pants.

Say hello to Wuka...


How do Wuka period pants work?
Wuka period pants are made up of four different layers; The inner and outer layers are soft, breathable fabric which sandwich two inner layers of absorbent fibres, uniquely designed to lock in menstrual blood.

How much blood can Wuka period pants hold?
Wuka heavy flow period pants can hold up to four tampons worth of blood, medium flow pants hold three tampons worth & light Flo hold between one and two tampons worth. The pants can easily be worn for eight hours and even worn overnight depending on your flow.

Are Wuka period pants hygienic?
The inner layers of Wuka period pants have antibacterial properties which prevent odour and bacterial growth. The pants can also be machine washed at 40 degrees which means not only are they hygienic to clean, they're pretty easy too.

How do you wash Wuka period pants?
Speaking of cleaning, Wuka period pants need to be rinsed (not left to soak) before washing to prevent any staining. The pants can then be hand washed or chucked into your washing machine and washed at 40 degrees with a black clothes wash. It's worth noting that Wuka period pants will probably take a little longer to dry compared to the rest of your lingerie due to having extra layers, and that they need to be hung out rather than tumble dried.

How long will Wuka period pants last?
Depending on how well you wash & take care of the Wuka period pants, the heavy flow sets can last for at least two years. Even after the two years they can be used for lighter days, meaning they could last for many more years to come.


Since becoming a mum my periods have gotten (and I hate to say it & make you all jealous) SO much easier to deal with! Pre-baby the first day of my period was hell, I'd have bloating, headaches & would be pretty much glued to the toilet with unsightly bowel movements. Aunt Flo was definitely not my friend back then & even though I wouldn't say we're best pals now, we're definitely more amicable with each other.

Wearing Wuka period pants hasn't really had that much of an impact to my time of the month, but I mean that in the best way possible - They're effortless - I put my Wuka period pants on and ride the wave that is my time of the month.


A few years ago the feminine hygiene isle in supermarkets were purely made up of disposable pads and tampons, and even though now sustainable choices are available they're far from the majority. From today (15th March 2020) Wuka period pants will be available exclusively to buy from more than 200 Sainsbury's stores.

This means that you can really easily make your periods sustainable as you're doing your weekly shop. I know I'll definitely be picking up some more when I next go in for my groceries.

If you'd like to give Wuka period pants a go & receive 10% discount feel free to use my referral code WUKA-CLAIREMAC10 at the checkout.

Have you made your periods sustainable? Would you give period pants a go? 

Claire.X

CELEBRATING MOTHERS DAY FOR ALL MOTHERS.

*This post contains gifted items & is in collaboration with Moonpig*

Mothers day is a day spent honouring the mother in the family; This year I'll be celebrating it for the second time & this year I'm celebrating for all mothers.


Admittedly before we became parents, mothers day wasn't a day we massively celebrated.

Dan & I both live quite far away from our families, so for us mothers day was a day we had flowers delivered to our mums and sent 'happy mothers day' texts... In fact, most years I'd have Dan whinging to me (usually the day before, when he's forgotten to buy his mum anything) about how he's never understood mothers day & how it's a day solely for companies to promote consumerism.

Me being me however & a total positive Polly likes to think otherwise, however I can't 100% shake mirroring Dan's opinions on consumerism.

I'm of the opinion that it's nice to be nice & to treat your mama on mothers day, and that a small gesture can mean just as much a big one.

I feel like we're in an era where we do things to make ourselves feel good or to show off on our social media platforms, rather than doing things for other people - I don't like it - I want to treat my mum on mothers day because I know she'll enjoy it & it'll make her feel appreciated and not for any other reason.


Now I'm a mum myself, my opinion on celebrating mothers day itself hasn't changed at all that much. One thing that has changed however is my knowledge of inclusivity on who we're celebrating mothers day for.

Inclusivity is so important when it comes to celebrating not only mothers day, but fathers day & every other day in between. Being a parent isn't just the typical biological family having a mum & dad with 2.4 kids - It's so much more & there are so many more mums we should be celebrating...

Mother's with children.
Mother's who've lost children.
Mother's with stepchildren.
Mother's who've longed to become mother's.
Mother's with adopted children.
Mother's with fur children.
Mother's going through fertility treatment.
Mother's who've transitioned.

We're all mothers.

Touching quickly on my own experiences & struggling to become a mother, there's absolutely nothing more heartbreaking than seeing families celebrate mothers day with their children, when all you want is to become a mama yourself. Getting your period month after month when all you want to see is those two blue lines pop up on a pregnancy test can be the most soul destroying thing & I totally understand how Mother's Day can be so tough on so many different people.

Although I can now celebrate with my own family it's been a hard battle & I can't help but think of those mother's who'd give anything to have what I have.


Mother's Day for me this year will be a day of two halves; I'm working 9:00-3:00 so half of the day I'll be out of the house & the other half I'll be soaking up as many baby cuddles as humanly possible. We don't have anything major planned for mothers day but that doesn't bother me; If I can get cups of tea made for me & perhaps a naughty takeaway on the evening I'll be a happy mama.

As a little mothers day treat Moonpig sent me a lovely bouquet of flowers along with a voucher to treat those special ladies in our lives. I received 'The Sweetness bouquet' which is made up of lily's, pistache foliage & snap dragons & although it was a surprise, it's a bouquet I'd 100% go for if I was buying. Even though people say lily's are a funeral flower, I absolutely adore them, I had lily's in my wedding bouquet so I'll be forever drawn to them and they're always the first flower I search for when looking for bouquets. Snap dragons have also become my second favourite, not to sound like a flower connoisseur but I can recognise a snap dragon from a mile away, they're excellent for adding height to a bouquet & I just love the scent they give off. Overall an 11/10 for me Moonpig, I absolutely love what was chosen for me, and don't even get me started on the personalised card, I very nearly, almost cried!... But in a good way of course.

Moonpig are currently offering free mothers day cards when buying flowers for that mother figure in your lives, just use the code 'LOVEMUM' at the checkout.

Will you be celebrating Mothers Day this year?

Claire.X

FOUR NEW ADDITIONS TO MY WARDROBE.

*This post contains gifted items & is in collaboration with Femme Luxe*

I've found redefining my personal style since becoming a mum to be quite a challenge; But now 14 months postpartum, I'm out of the other side, I'm feeling my sassy self & I'm confident in choosing amazing yet versatile additions to add to my wardrobe, to make it the best it can be.


I've somewhat redefined my wardrobe over the last year and have massively changed my mindset when it comes to choosing what makes it's way into my wardrobe.

I was quite willy nilly when it came to shopping beforehand; It sounds stupid, but I would never really think about what I was buying and adding to my wardrobe - If I saw something I liked, I got it *totally sounding like a spoilt brat here* It's only since getting pregnant, gaining a new body (and a baby of course) & having a drop in disposable income that's made me really evaluate how I spend my money.

Now I aim to only add pieces which I know I'll get a lot of wear out of, items that are versatile and pieces I know will make up a number of different outfits.



I initially went into the transformation with the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe; I'd love to only own ten items of clothing & have a super minimal wardrobe with pieces of clothing that can be worn various ways in various outfits.

But I can't.

It's just not me.

Not just from the point of view of loving fashion & wanting to own numerous different pieces (because I do) but oh my, the thought of washing ten items of clothing terrifies me. My washing machine would be getting used every other day... And don't even get me started about trying to dry the clothes afterwards. I've had a good old rant about that on my Instagram this week.

I haven't got time for that level of commitment to my washing machine!


Any who, let's get onto the pieces I've actually added to my wardrobe this week.

Something I popped in my basket, expecting to like, but never expecting to love (and I LOVE them) was a pair of cargo trousers. Never in a million years did I think I'd be raving about a pair of cargo trousers, but here I am; The year is 2020 & I'm living my best 90's life in the Mina black cargo trousers from Femme Luxe.

I seem to have either mom jeans or tailored trousers in my wardrobe, I don't really have anything in-between so I felt these trousers would fill that gap perfectly.

And they do! I love them!

They're made of what I can only describe as a tent material and have a stretchy elasticated waist band (hallelujah!) with elasticated cuffs, along with about 8 pockets which I'll probably never use. The material is extremely warm, which is really surprising because the cargo pants are actually quite thin - I've worn them a few times now, and you know what the weathers been like recently (hello storm Ciara, storm Dennis & storm Jorge) and I've been toasty AF.

I actually couldn't be happier with them!


I'm a massive fan of a cropped tee & find them flattering on my figure especially with a less tailored pair of high waisted trousers. I chose the Scarlett long sleeve crew neck crop top in this nude colour because I knew I'd be be able to wear it with so many different outfits. Cropped tee's are one of my go to items in my wardrobe, so I know this piece will get so much love.

The only downside with this particular cropped tee is that it's quite sheer & requires a nude bra... And the only nude bra I own is a boost it, triple your boob size, extra zoom, push up bra. It's horrible. I don't know why I own it.

These are not my boobs. They're imposters!

Apart from that though - Banging tee!



Also, being the basic bitch I am, I picked up a couple of oversized rolled sleeve tops in both the black & the white colour ways. I chose them because of their versatility and the fact I know I'll get so much wear out of them. They're plain tee's, but they're the style of tops I can wear with more casual cargo trousers, but also I can just as easily wear them for work with a suit.

Plus, who doesn't love a basic tee?

Four new additions to my wardrobe this week & four new additions I think I'm going to get a lot of wear out of. Like I said, I feel like I'm definitely being a bit more mindful of the pieces I'm adding to my wardrobe in the sense that I'm selecting items which are wearable, not massively trend lead & pieces that are going to get a lot of love.

Are you similar with what you chose to add to your wardrobe?

Claire.X

*All clothing items in this post have been gifted by Femme Luxe*

BRUNCH AT THE WILD PLUM - HARROGATE.

I lived every Yorkshire bloggers dream last week with a brunch trip to The Wild Plum in Harrogate.

The Wild Plum first came onto my radar maybe about a year or so ago after seeing various different bloggers living their best brunch lives there on Instagram... And I wanted to live my best brunch life too.


I was forever in awe of their delicious Instagram-worthy food, however something that was majorly putting me off (and the reason it's taken me so long to go) is the accessibility.

The Wild Plum is situated above Snooty Frox, an award winning boutique which sells beautiful occasion wear as well as millinery, shoes and gifts. Unfortunately the only access to The Wild Plum is via a narrow staircase which you find once meandering around the boutique on the ground floor. Although my daughter walks, she's still very dependent on her pram (as am I, she's the slowest walker ever) which makes getting to brunch at The Wild Plum pretty difficult.

Luckily for me I had a baby free day, as May was having a Daddy Daughter day, so off I trotted (battling Storm Ciara, might I add) with my sister to get our Wild Plum fix!


After battling the storm & entering Snooty Frox we had to queue on the staircase; This wouldn't have been ideal if we'd had the baby with us, but because we'd driven so far and had already had a preview of what to come we decided to wait.

Thankfully we only had to wait around 15 minutes or so before we were seated at our table.

The staff on arrival were apologetic about the wait and welcomed us with open arms which I thought was lovely. Our specific server was so friendly, it was as if we'd known her for years, unfortunately we didn't catch her name, but everything about the service given to us on our visit was impeccable.


My sister and I both opted for Latte's (in fact we each ended up getting two, they were so good) but surprisingly differed with our breakfast options - She decided to go sweet & I went savoury.

My sister chose the sweet option of the classic waffle which consisted of a waffle with seasonal fruit, whipped cream, Nutella, maple syrup and junk food granola; It looked blooming incredible when it came out & if I'm honest I had that sudden pang of food envy when she was served her brunch before mine.

I on the other hand chose the full English pancake, which was made up of two pancakes sandwiched between a sausage Pattie, black pudding and a crispy fried egg. Delish right! My food envy soon went away when I was presented with my own plate.


We tucked in quicker than you can say 'The Wild Plum' and oh my goodness, it was a pure taste sensation, and SO worth the fifteen minute wait beforehand.

Everything about my brunch was delicious; The pancakes were soft and fluffy, the egg yolk ran perfectly, and the sausage pattie oozed with flavour. Individually the items were enjoyable, but together they were the perfect combination!

When I was eating my brunch I couldn't help notice the level of ingredients used in my meal, you know when you can just tell that a meal has been made with quality ingredients? Well that's what I was getting from my full English pancake at The Wild Plum. It was beautiful.

At first I thought the price tag on my brunch was a little steep, but at £15 and considering the quality of the food presented to myself, I'd pay it five times over. We had the perfect brunch date.

I was living my best brunch life!


We loved our visit to The Wild Plum, and although I've said it's not the most child friendly of places, it wouldn't put me off going again. I'd love to go mid afternoon next time however and try out their lunch time menu as they had some mouth watering meals on there.

Where do you get to live your best brunch life?

Claire.X

The Wild Plum
34-36 Hookstone Road
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
HG2 8BW

HOW MUCH OF MY CHILDS FACE SHOULD I BE SHOWING ONLINE?

How much of my child's face should I be showing online? This question has been playing on my mind for quite some time now, more so since my daughter's first birthday.

The older she's becoming, the more recognisable she is & it scares me.


The dilemma of deciding how much of my daughter to show online has been in my thoughts for a few months now, maybe since October/November time last year.

It's been on my mind because I feel like at present I'm giving too much of her away, I feel guilty for not being able to shield her from the online world & I feel like I'm opening her up into a world she doesn't necessarily want to be in.

But I want to show her off.

I'm proud of everything she's becoming and equally how I'm transforming myself into a flipping kick ass mama (even if I do say so myself!)

I want to share my journey.

I want to unite mama's and wing this motherhood malarkey with all of you ladies with me - I think I just need to be more conscious of what it is exactly that I'm posting & how that'll affect my daughter in years to come.


The problem.
Since having my daughter I've surrounded myself with the most amazing online mama community and I've met some incredible people through taking my blog down the parenting and lifestyle route, however I feel like I can't carry on showing my daughters face to the world as much as I have been doing.

The world actually can be a very big & very bad place, and quite frankly I don't want to subject my child to any unnecessary attention, especially when she can't comprehend or consent to any of what's going on right now.

The thought of someone recognising my child in the street because I've showcased her on my blog gives me the chills! Heck, I've been there before; I've been out and about & saw a child who I thought looked like a certain Instagrammers' daughter and it shocked me - That thought doesn't sit quite right with me.

To be honest looking back, I think this is where my whole change in mindset originally came from.

Should I really be recognising someone's baby who I don't even know?

Just a thought.


The solution.
So... I'm a parenting & lifestyle blogger, but I'm not going to show my child online? Seems rather contradictory doesn't it. This is what I thought at first, and I still do to some extent, I'm just going to work around the problem, like anything else in life!

I'll still be sharing my honest opinions on motherhood and will still be portraying parenting in all of its glory, the good the bad and the ugly, because that's 100% what I'm about. That's absolutely not going to change, I'm just going to be super careful with the imagery that I use. I'm also planning on referring to my daughter by her middle name, as well as any other lovey doves pet names we have for her - There's a few to choose from, I'm not going to get stuck!

Both decisions are of my own choosing and my desire to keep my private life that little more private.

I'm sure there'll be teething problems (not just my daughters) as I begin being a bit more privy with my family life, however If I'm honest I'm not going to be 100% strict with myself by banning her completely from my blog and socials - I just want to limit the amount my daughters face appears on my feeds.

This in turn means being a bit more creative with what I post. I still want to be very much present online & continue what I'm doing with my #TogetherInMamahood community, I just need to think a little bit more outside of the box when it comes to picture taking. Content, I've got coming out of my ears, I'm never particularly lost for words when it comes to motherhood, I just want to limit the amount my daughters face appears online, especially the older and more recognisable she's becoming.


I've seen a few articles circling the web (do people still call it that now) recently from both perspectives, of mama's that don't want to show their babies faces online as well as those that do. After reading both sides, I've come to the very clear decision that quite frankly there's no right or wrong answer - I think you've just got to do what's best for you, and you most certainly don't need to justify whatever decision you make.

There's enough people out there judging our parenting skills anyway isn't there? *insert biggest eye roll ever here*

If you've made sense of my inner ramblings coming out in word form, thank you for your patience - I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter?

Claire.X

WAYS TO FEEL SASSY AS A MUM.

*This post contains gifted items & is in collaboration with Femme Luxe*

Feeling sassy isn't something I've felt for a very long time; Both my body and my emotions have been on rollercoaster over the last couple of years, but I've sashayed my way into 2020 with a whole new persona.

I'm a sassy, independent woman who's ready to handle whatever the new decade throws at me.

Sassy [Adjective]:
Lively, bold, full of spirit & cheeky.



Personal style.
One of the biggest impacts in improving my confidence & becoming a sassy mama is by redefining my personal style.
Since becoming a mum I went through the battle all new mama's go through, which is figuring out what the hell to do with my new postpartum body?! I didn't feel like me for such a long time after having my daughter and it took a while to get my head around redefining my personal style since becoming a mum, but I got there in the end & now a year after having my little one I feel more confident than ever in the clothes I'm in.
Don't get me wrong, said clothes will probably be covered in dropped yogurt and my daughters drool, but I rock that look!
'You wear the clothes, don't let the clothes wear you'.
And you can bet your bottom dollar I'm going to be wearing the hell out of this Femme Luxe corset top!

Sing at the top of your lungs.

Singing is something you can 100% get away with as a parent. Kids love any form of singing don't they, and you definitely don't need to be Beyonce for you both to get enjoyment out of it.
Whatever your genre, whatever your jam, just make sure you're singing at the top of your lungs - Take ownership of that song! You'll thank me for it I promise!
Last week I drove home from Middlesbrough to Leeds & I was listening to Heart Radio's club classics & oh my goodness it was just tune after tune, I was 100% living my best life belting out all of the words to Candy Staton's 'you've got the love' - Amelia seemed to like it too!
'Sing as though no one is listening.'

A good skincare routine.
My skincare routine went out of the window in the newborn days - I'd actually give you money if you could show me a new mama with a strict skincare routine - I don't think it's humanly possible.
The initial lull in my skincare routine has only made me feel so much better now I'm actually sticking to one. I think because I'd felt so shitty before (looking back at photos you can see how drearily tired I was) the transformation feels so much more dramatic... In the best way possible!
I've added some new products into my skincare routine, of which I'll talk about properly in another blog post, but I think the most beneficial thing for me is having a clean face when I go to bed at night as well as when I get up on a morning.
Who'd have thought a clean face would make you feel sassy? But it really does! Even more so if it's slathered in an amazing moisturiser and you're glory AF!

Surround yourself with sassy women.
I think the easiest way to feel like a sassy and empowered women is to surround yourself with sassy and empowered women.... And that's exactly what I've done.
'Empowered women, empower women.'
Since having Amelia I've met some amazing women online, women who are all in a similar position to myself and women who are out there absolutely killing it! They're brought things out in me which I never knew was possible & in turn I want to do the same for other women out there.
My online mama community really is the best - They've brought the sass out in me big style!

Underwear that fits like a dream.
Even when you're wearing your mum uniform; The mum bun & comfy loungewear; you can still feel sassy as hell wearing killer lingerie underneath. There's something sexy and somewhat secretive about hiding an amazing set of underwear under your regular clothes... Even if it's only you that knows about it!
'Never underestimate the power of good lingerie.'
Good underwear never fails to make me feel amazing & I've got some fabulous pieces in my collection.
I'd love to do an all empowered photoshoot with other mama's wearing beautiful lingerie sets embracing our post baby bodies. I'd love to find women who'd help put these plans in motion... Because if there's something I'm about, it's making women feel as amazing (and sassy) as humanly possible!



Something has definitely clicked for me since the clock struck midnight on the 31st December. I don't know if it's because I'm working now, that I feel like I can handle anything, but I'm feeling my sassy self right now.

I'm feeling really good about myself and my abilities and I urge you mama's to feel the same!

What makes you feel sassy?

Claire.X

PARENTING QUOTES: JANUARY

This year I've decided to take my Pinterest & Instagram down a bit of a different route creating relatable parenting quotes to share with my mama community.

Here's what I came up with for January






Which quote do you relate to most?

Claire. X

QUICK BEAUTY TRICKS TO FEELING GLAM.

*This post is in collaboration with false eyelashes.co.uk*

Getting glam isn't a sport (yes it's a sport) I partake in very often, in fact it's actually a rarity these days.

I used to love spending time doing my makeup, indulging in a bit of luxury self care & enjoying being able to make myself feel like a mother-flipping boss. But the year is 2020 & I'm a working mama, who still very much feels like a mother-flipping boss, only I have considerably less time to make myself feel glam.

I want to feel glam again!

I want to feel 'too glam to give a damn!'

I just need to get glam quickly.


Since going back to work after maternity leave my level of glam has definitely taken a beating. Gone are the days of being able to do my makeup at my own pace watching youtube videos with a coffee break in between, waiting for my husband to roll his eyes at me for taking FOREVER - Nowadays I'm that mama who's forever in a rush and looking for quick tricks to transform me from Mombie (mum zombie - duh!) into a Hot Mama in the quickest time possible.

Here's a few quick beauty tricks I've picked up so far.

Lashes.
A certain way to make me feel like a glam mama is with the addition of false lashes.
Granted I think the application process of falsies is a skill you've got to learn, but I think once you've cracked it, it's like riding a bike - Only way less strenuous!
Although there are various different styles and lengths available I like my false lashes to be as natural looking as possible, so have been wearing the Eyelure Naturals No.070 strip lashes to give my peepers that bit of extra flutter.
I prefer strip lashes as I think they're way less time consuming to apply, and these Eyelure Naturals are fab because they're super lightweight & comfortable. They're a dream to wear!


Hair.
Another sure way to make myself feel glam is to curl my tresses and give my hair an extra bit of volume with loose waves.
I don't curl my hair very often, but whenever I do I'm always surprised at how quick the process is. For some reason I aways think curling my hair is going to take so much longer than it actually does so I usually opt for the easy option which is my usual look of having poker straight hair.
I use GHD's to curl my hair, sectioning bits of at a time to ensure everything is evenly curled. I find if I put a bit of prep work in first & section off parts of my hair the actual process of curling doesn't take that long. I've curled my hair before & just gone in willy nilly, but I've found that generally takes longer as I always end up missing big sections of my hair out... And I'm not about that half straight, half curly hair life... It's not 2002 anymore.

Tan.
I have to be honest & say that I'm not living my best tanned life at the moment.
Tanning is something I've really struggled with since becoming a mum, because you need to have as strict of a routine with your fake tan as you do your baby.
That being said the quickest way to input a bit of colour in your life is with an instant tan, my favourite being sun shimmer from Rimmel. I remember being introduced to sun shimmer about ten years ago (maybe even 10 years +) whilst I was at Uni, and oh my goodness, I've never looked back. I've dabbled with the St Tropez instant tan a few times too which although it's been brilliant, I definitely prefer the cheaper alternative from Rimmel.
Oh... And you definitely only need to tan the parts of yourself that's on show!


Lips.
I used to be a bit of a floozie when it came to lip colours & formulas, however now as I'm nearing the grand old age of 30, I've finally decided what I like and don't like when it comes to lippies.
And the lipstick I want to recouple with is a dark nude liquid lipstick.
My go to lippies are the NYX liquid suede lipsticks as their formulas are just out of this world and the darker nude shades always leave me feeling like a hot mama.
The power of a good lipstick & how it makes you feel should never be underestimated.

I love having the time to make myself feel glam, however as a working mum having the time to do so doesn't come around all that often. That being said, I still feel like a glam mama, I've just learnt to be clever in my approach to applying makeup.

What makes you feel glam?

Claire.X

I'VE BEEN MUM SHAMED!

Something happened to me this week, something which hasn't happened to me since becoming a parent & something I've almost been waiting for - I've been mum shamed!


Let me set the scene for you...

It was my day off from work so I decided to take myself & Amelia to a nearby garden centre. We went here because they've got a huge indoor play area, a lovely rustic styled restaurant which sells the biggest cakes & has an aquarium with enough tropical fish to keep anyones senses stimulated for hours... Basically, it's the best (and easiest) day out for mamas and their little ones.

So off we trotted early doors to make the most of the day.

We'd played and visited the tropical fish, so were ending our trip by getting a quick coffee in the restaurant (me, not Amelia) before heading home for nap time. There was no thought process in picking our table, other than it was the closest available, so instead of meandering the pram around a people enjoying their dinners, I parked up - It just so happened to be a table next to a (rather judgemental) elderly couple.

From the minute we'd sat down, the glares started. It was the most bizarre thing & if I'm honest I didn't quite know what to do with myself. I found it difficult not to glare back in utter confusion, but I refrained & got on with what I needed to do.

After the glares, came the pointing. Even as I'm writing this, I'm shaking my head with a screwed up, puzzled face. The gentleman was leaning into his companion & pointing at us both whispering something which I didn't quite catch. It was the most bizarre thing! Pointing at someone for absolutely no reason is not okay - And it's even worse if you're caught red handed & show now remorse.

What I did catch however was the continuous tutting & the mention of how we shouldn't be in there.

I should mention that nowhere in this situation was my child crying, nowhere was she kicking up a fuss & nowhere was she being anything other than my loveable little girl.

The noises she was making was laughs and giggles - And anyone who would deny a child that, quite frankly can get in the bin (or the sea, I don't know what the cool people say these days).


I posted about my mum shaming incident on Instagram earlier on in the week, asking if any other mamas had been in a similar situation & guess what... Every single comment & every single message I had, said YES!

How flipping outrageous is that?

I'm okay with being mum shamed.
I've got a good enough head on my shoulders to know that it's them with the issue & not me.
I believe in my abilities as a parent.
But there are SO many people out there who don't.

And that's really sad!

Have you been mum shamed?

Claire.X

MY ONLINE MAMA COMMUNITY.

I've found motherhood pretty lonely over the last year & have felt really quite isolated being a new parent, however one thing I've found solace in is my online mama community. Social media gets a bad rap these days, but for me especially over the last year it's been blooming amazing & I want to pay homage to what & who I've discovered who have made my parenting journey that little bit easier!


I've spoken in depth about the bittersweet loneliness and isolation I've felt during motherhood so far. I've felt so contradicted over the last year, I mean how can it be possible to feel so lonely when I'm with the person I love most 24/7. It's not an easy place to be.

Turns out nothing about parenthood is easy.
The thoughts.
The feelings.
The emotions... Especially the emotions.
None of it is easy!

I don't have a huge group of friends; The older I've gotten the more distant friendships have become, and that's okay, it's all part of life, but something I've noticeably lacked during pregnancy & motherhood is a support network of IRL (in real life) parents - People with hands on experience who are willing to speak about all parts of parenting, the good the bad & the ugly.

I needed to hunt out those people - Those people that were willing to display everything, because as this was my first pregnancy, I wanted to immerse myself in every possible bit of information out there.


This is where I turned to Instagram...

Instagram isn't someone I turn to on the regular, we all know it's full of people showing you their highlight reel & only showing you what they want you to see. It's not always real life & I think as I edge ever nearer to 30 I've got a decent enough head on my shoulders to decipher who's portrayal of motherhood is real & who's isn't.

Surprisingly it didn't take me long to find expectant mothers who were being super real about their pregnancies.

In all honesty I thought I was going to be inundated with women who were 'glowing', who had the most Pinterest worthy nurseries & expectant parents who'd already washed, dried and ironed all of their little peoples clothes by the end of their second trimester.

*Spoiler alert - I was not someone who'd already washed, dried and ironed all of my little persons clothes by the end of my second trimester.*


I found some amazing women but I figured I needed to turn myself into the person I wanted to find in order to attract more likeminded people.

I needed to open up about my experiences & be as open and honest about how I was feeling during my pregnancy - So that's exactly what I did - And low and behold I was magically aligned (thanks algorithm) to women who we're in exactly the same boat as me.

Women who were prepared to tell you everything!

Feeling nauseous for 99.9% of your pregnancy? I want to know!
Don't want your partner to come within 5 feet of you? I want to know!
Feeling like you're loosing yourself to motherhood already? I want to know!
Already terrified about money worries being on maternity leave? I want to know!


I began my search by scouting out pregnancy announcements on Instagram which of course there was an abundance of! There was a whole load of women in the same boat as me & to be honest at this point I wasn't particularly following people, just liking there posts, but after a few weeks you begin to see the same names crop up time and time again & I thought, yup, these people are my people, I need to follow their journey!

Speaking of pregnancy announcements, Lauren from bylaurenjane has recently had her little boy, but her pregnancy announcement on instagram was genius. She came up with such a cool idea to signify she was expecting baby Ethan by placing a teeny tiny pair of white converse in between pairs that belong to both herself & her husband. Super cute, super simple, but really effective!

Also a quick shout out to Alice from alicejanepotter, who I wasn't following at the time, but recently showed her pregnancy announcement again & I'm pretty sure it's the best bit of stop motion I've ever seen! Pure genius!

Towards the end of my pregnancy I found the hashtag #thirdtrimesterproblems especially fun to follow. Pregnancy isn't always pretty, especially during the third trimester when you're the size of a whale, waddling around trying not to pee yourself! I found so many mama's making light of their 'third trimester problems' and honestly took so much solace from the fact that I was just one of many expectant mothers trying my very best not to piss myself!

I found so many people who were my kind of people during pregnancy & it was so nice having people going through the same turmoils as myself only to be landed (who am I kidding, labour isn't that easy) with a beautiful baby by the end of it.


During my pregnancy I was super honest and open about what I was posting & have continued to do the same since having Amelia. I haven't tried to be relatable with what I post, I just post from the heart, quite often rather spontaneously, but what I've found is that being an overall good egg is the best policy and it's lead me into the paths of so many other good eggs.

Pregnancy, childbirth & becoming a mother has empowered me & you know how the saying goes...

Empowered women, empower women!

And that's what I'm going to do!


Abi @abilourich
Abi is the brains (and beauty) behind the #projectbabyandme community, which is where I've been introduced to SO many amazing mamas. Abi herself is an amazing mama to Teddy, who's only a couple of weeks younger than my Amelia. It's so nice to have kids at a similar age and we've often chatted about the trials and tribulations that come with raising them. I can hand on heart say I don't think my online mama community would be the same if it wasn't for her - She's opened the door for me to help leave loneliness behind!


Meghan @meghanwalshblogs
Meghan is my gal! I'm sure if we lived closer & actually met in real life we'd be amazing pals, as would our girls. Meghan is someone who is brutally honest about motherhood, and whether you're expecting a child or are already a parent, I think she's someone that you NEED to follow. She's honest, she's relatable and she's got a whole load of sass! Turning up to her works Christmas party in a suit with slicked back hair & big gold hoops - She's got enough sass for the both of us!


Clare @thelifelately
Clare is someone who is always there! Want to have a whinge - She's there! Want to gush over how grown up our girls look - She's there! Want advice on what the hell I should be doing with my baby - She's there! What I especially love about Clare is how normal & chilled out she is, again she's someone I feel I could be pals with IRL & she's made me feel so much more reassured during my parenting journey. Plus Eva is the most delicious thing - I think our girls would get on like a house on fire too!


Emma @walkerhill_house
Emma & I had been friends for quite a while before we both discovered we were pregnant. Weirdly it's felt like we've both had the same pregnancy/parenting journey - We both found out we were pregnant before our wedding days & we both confided in each other before we told our families, we went through pregnancy together & even though our due dates were further apart, my late arrival & Emma's early arrival means there's two weeks between our girls & I bloody love it!


I'm surrounded my so many amazing women & their wonderful babies, I really couldn't ask to be part of a better mama community. I've noticed 'mummy bloggers' (gahh I hate that term) getting quite a bit of flack in the online world recently, but I can honestly say I've never had a problem with anyone or anything mentioned before.

Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones - I have so many other amazing women to thank for that.

Alice @alicejanepotter & her little girl Eve never fail to put a smile on my face - Eve is killer at pulling stunts & I'm sure she keeps Alice very much on her toes!
Caroline @carolineelgeywhite is my gal! She has two sons and is the most supportive woman out there! After swapping phone numbers last year she's always only a WhatsApp away & someone I rely on for ultimate parenting advice.
Kate @mama.and.little.moon without fail is always at the end of a DM when I have burning questions about how on Earth I become a good parent. Plus little Luna is absolute fashion goals - I'd love my Amelia to be as well dressed as her!
Sarah @sarahbolstridge is super supportive, engaging & an overall good egg. She's also recently started up a new series on her blog, getting to know other new mamas, which will be great for finding new people in this community.
Alice @alicespake knows her shit, when it comes to all aspects of everything, parenting, beauty lifestyle, she hits the nail on the head every damn time!
Natasha @quinlan_diaries is currently pregnant with her second child, a new sibling for lovely Harry. Natasha's the loveliest mama and someone I speak to on the reg, she's brilliant!
Lex @eatweepmumrepeat - I mean, you have to follow Lex for her insta handle alone right? She's so open and honest about her motherhood journey with Ramsay & I love her good news stories she posts to Instagram each morning.
* Codie @codiekinz.co.uk had her little boy called Ruben a week or so earlier than Amelia & I remember living for her labour insta stories, she was a true warrior & someone I've loved followed ever since (in the least stalker way possible).
Jenny @the_northkernow_mum is only relatively new on my mama radar but I love following her for her insanely beautiful photos of not only Ellie, but of Cornwall where she lives - It's stunning!
Amy @fitterrrrbug is literally wonder woman! How she holds down running her own business & looking after beautiful Norah is beyond me!
Amy @thewifeedit is another business owner who's absolutely smashing the shit out of being really real about motherhood. Her & Ava are gorgeous inside & out!
Gemma @gemellisx and her little boy Reuben are flipping gorgeous. I love their matching checkerboard Vans a hella load but I love how supportive Gemma is even more so, she's amazing!
Jess @thetravelista had had one hell of a motherhood journey so far but it hasn't stopped her being the most down to earth & welcoming person. Theo has achieved many amazing things so far & I'm sure they'll both go on to do so much more!
Ashleigh @ashleighsmoments is someone I speak to so often & regularly swap stories with about the good, the bad & the ugly when it comes to our girls, she's super supportive.
* Kirsty @thevioletblonde is mama to beautiful Florence. I love seeing what they get up to & find Kirsty so supportive! She's brilliant.

I'm going to keep adding to my amazing list of mamas as I discover more so I'll be sure to keep you all regularly updated. I'm sure I'll have missed some people off by accident as well, there's always someone I forget... I forgot to send my Grandma an invitation to my wedding, so don't feel too bad, I'm naturally the most forgetful person ever!

Which mamas are on your 'to follow' list?

Claire.X